Thursday, October 25, 2012

Norwegian Cruise Line's - Norwegian Breakaway

The Food Boat soon will be making another run... (Sung in tune of the Theme Song from The Love Boat).  Let's face it. We really don't go on cruises exclusively for the ports of call. We look forward to the opportunity to run free and eat five and six times a day; even going on diets a while before the voyage to ready ourselves for the massive feast.

Photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line

If this sounds familiar, then you'll be happy to know that Norwegian Cruise Line is introducing their new ship, Norwegian Breakaway; setting sail in the Summer of 2013 from New York to Bermuda. Following in the tradition of their famous Freestyle Cruising, which offers more choices in entertainment, activities, and your favorite and mine - dining, Norwegian Breakaway will feature over 17 restaurant options including Teppanyaki, Casual Italian, French Bistro, a Raw Bar, and a Steakhouse, among others.

Miami Foodies with Steve Green 
Test Kitchen
Being a die-hard foodie, I was ecstatic to be part of a live FoodieChats, hosted by Norwegian Cruise Line, and taking place at their new test kitchen in the Doral area of Miami.  FoodieChats is a weekly Twitter show taking place every Monday night at 8 p.m. EST, where creator Steve Green asks nine questions based on a specific theme, and foodies from all around the Twitter arena chat together and answer the questions using the hashtag #FoodieChats. It's a fun way to network with like-minded food lovers.  The theme for this FoodieChats was The Flavors of Norwegian Breakaway and all the lucky guests got the opportunity to sample a large selection of menu items that will be available on the ship.

The Breakaway

Tuna Crudo
Mango Pearl
The minute we set sail on our culinary voyage, we were very graciously welcomed with The Breakaway; a sweet and refreshing specialty cocktail made with a mix of Prosecco and Apricot Brandy. It was exquisite. At this point, the procession of culinary delights began; with the first being an Amuse Bouche served at the Chef's Table on the ship: Mango Pearl, infused with vodka and served atop jalapeno pineapple salsa. Sweet and with a kick, the bite provided a fun potpourri of flavors to the palate. Next up, I saw what appeared to be a mirage of red, shiny slices of my vice: tuna. Only, it wasn't a mirage. It was very real: Tuna Crudo, topped with a tomato and   salsa, and drizzled with a mustard lime dressing. The tuna was fresh and high-quality and I couldn't put my fork down. I hope nobody noticed.

Close up of Mango Pearl

Salmon Tartar
Fried Calamari
The entourage of beautifully presented dishes continued with one of my absolute favorites of the evening. (I say one because there were quite a few favorites). It was the Salmon Tartar, created with honey mustard dressing, cucumber and red pepper salad. It was one of the most amazing salmon tartars I have ever had and I loved its tangy taste. A few minutes later, they brought out the Parmesan-coated Fried Calamari. These were crispy, flavorful and had a nice texture to them.

Mini Crab Cakes

Plantain Chips
Pan-Seared Sea Bass
I felt like my taste buds were racing at 20 knots as one incredible dish after another was placed before us. Tantalizing us next were the Mini Crab Cakes, topped with a Portobello mushroom and served with spiced remoulade. The flavor was intense and bold. And then IT arrived; a fish so tender, buttery and flaky, it practically melted in my mouth. It was the Pan-Seared Seabass, pure celestial goodness bathed in an apple cider vinaigrette and jalapeno cream, then covered with a mango, pineapple and red onion salsa. Divine! It was served with plantain chips and a lobster veloute sauce for dipping. It immediately became an absolute hit for me.

Lobster Medallions and Linguini

Delmonico Steak
Potatoes and Carrots

I can see this is one cruise line that goes all out when it comes to food. We all gasped when we saw the next dish: Buttery Lobster Medallions, gingerly surrounding a plate of Linguini with Lobster Ragu. The cold water Maine lobsters were perfectly prepared, allowing the sweet taste of the lobster to shine through, and the pasta was cooked al dente. As I savored each bite, I was eating, tweeting and at this point sweating from the heat of the kitchen and the fabulous overload of impressive dishes we were sampling. Totally unsure if I could eat another bite, I took one look at the next dish, and simply inhaled deeply and thought, "Bring it on." Slices of juicy Delmonico Steak paired with a side of Potatoes and Carrots, and their renowned Truffle Fries from Cagney's Steakhouse on board the majestic ship, tickled our senses. The steak was well-seasoned, rich, and very tender, and I really enjoyed the taste of truffle oil and parmesan cheese on the fries.

Cagney's Fries with Truffle Oil

Assortment of Desserts
Lollipops with Candy Bits
While we enjoyed the last bites of our savory dishes, a table was prepared with an unbelievable number of desserts. Wait, is the Norwegian Breakaway going to be heaven on the high seas? Beckoning us to them were Cheesecake and Rum Ball Lollipops, an assortment of Dark Chocolate, White Chocolate and Fudge Mocha Truffles, a sweet and salty Almond Brittle, a Dark Chocolate Candy Cane Bark, and Chocolate Covered Strawberries with Violets. Seriously, we all wondered how many pounds we had put on collectively since the beginning of this feast. Compliments to the Pastry Chef because the sweets were all fabulous. My personal favorites were the Fudge Mocha Truffles and the Rum Ball Lollipops.  

Chocolate Covered Strawberries with Violets
The culinary geniuses behind this extravagant and spectacular dinner were (From left) Lans Kristiansen (Director of Culinary Development), Colin Hudson, (Corporate Executive Chef) and Eric Bilodeau (Corporate Executive Pastry Chef).

Executive Pastry Chef
Eric Bilodeau
As the evening came to a close, I didn't want to disembark from this gastronomical journey through Norwegian Breakaway's culinary promise. Now that I had experienced my own adventure with the excellent dishes on the horizon, I cannot wait to set sail on her and experience that " smile (or Pan-Seared Sea Bass) on a friendly shore..." (Sorry, I can't get the Love Boat theme song out of my head.) In the meantime, I'll take a peek at my pictures once in a while and reminisce. For more information on Norwegian Cruise Line and Norwegian Breakaway, check out their website at

Bon Voyage!

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